I’ve heard lots of good things about Strip House over the years, and I was psyched to go there and use a gift card I received for my birthday (Thanks Jackie & Mike!). Check the verdict (about as close to perfect as you can get). On my second visit, Jackie & Mike took us out for a b-day/anniversary celebration. Things are still incredible here. See the italics text below for new updates.
This place lived up to its expectations, and then some. The ribeye was perfectly cooked. It had a great crispy sear on the outside, and it was the perfect pink color and temperature from edge to bone, no uneven cooking, no change in texture, nothing. It had a great fat cap, and all the fat was soft and edible. There was nothing left on the bone at the end of the meal. Aside from the meat, everything else was perfect as well. This place is fucking legit. On the second visit I had the bone-in strip, and it was on par with the ribeye: amazing. Perfectly cooked, very flavorful and juicy. I tried smearing some of the mushy garlic onto a few bites and it really enhhanced the taste. I suggest trying it a little bit here and there. I had a taste of the special bone-in filet as well, and it is top notch.
Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 9
Strip house has all four of the basics covered; porterhouse (only offered for two), ribeye, filet mignon and strip. In addition they have a Chateaubriand for two. There was no mention in the menu or on the website regarding what grade or quality the beef is, but based on the flavor I’d say it is prime. On special they even had a bone-in filet (aka “the conundrum”). A wide variety of meat sizes and flavors. The only thing missing was a porterhouse for one. On special for the second trip they also had a boneless dry aged 16oz ribeye on the menu.
Portion Size & Plating: 10
Portion sizes are just right for the steaks. The strip comes in 16oz or 20oz (bone-in) portions; the filet is either 8oz or 12oz; and the ribeye is 20oz (bone-in). The porterhouse for two is 38oz, and the Chateaubriand for two is 24oz. The garnish on the plate was a nice roasted bundle of garlic, within its paper, sealing in all the heat to make it nice and spreadable. I didn’t delve into it too much, but it was a nice touch, and it even had a sprig of rosemary sticking out so it looked like a little pine tree (rosemary) with the roots wrapped (garlic bushel). Speaking of garlic, it seemed to be a common theme on many of the plates. For example, in the crispy goose fat potato dish, garlic was sliced and fried, and placed on top with a little bit of parsley. There was also some minced garlic cooked into the sear on the steak (nice!). The garlic wasn’t overpowering at all; just prevalent. The sides were a bit on the small side in comparison to other places I’ve been, but to be honest there is enough to feed two people on any one dish. The ripped potato app is a fairly large portion, however. See pic below:
At Strip House, the price for beef ranges from $41 to $49. The filets are $41 and $45; the ribeye is $46; and the strip is $45 and $49 – the larger of the two strips (bone-in) being the most expensive cut on the menu. The porterhouse runs $45pp, and the Chateaubriand is $43pp. The special bone-in filet was $52. Apps are $11 to $19, sides $8 to $12. A martini costs $12, which I thought was fair. These numbers are about right. The total bill, after tax, tip and deduction of gift card, came to under $200. A good deal indeed, though the sides were a bit small for their respective prices. Be sure to snack on some of the candied pecans that come in a small dish with the check – they are incredible.
The bar is really nice. First, the martini was made perfectly. The bartender chilled a glass while preparing the drink, and he even had the courtesy to ask if I wanted it shaken or stirred, up, or on the rocks. The decor is awesome, and the tables and couch near the bar make for a cozy yet elegant and swanky old time feel, with a nice view of the wine room near the entrance. I can definitely see myself hanging out here for a drink. I just don’t know if anyone else would be there since it isn’t in the most jumping location (though there is plenty to do nearby). The cocktail menu has a few new style drinks; interesting mixes rather than the traditional old time types of classics, but they are still good. My wife had a “bluebird sing,” which was a nice blueberry flavored drink. On my second trip they didn’t chill the martini glass, and it only came with two olives instead of three. Also noteworthy is that it went up in price by $1. I also noticed that the end of the bar is very close to the ring-up station where all the waiters and servers hang by the registers and computer screens. It can get tight over there, but the lounge seating area makes up for that.
Specials and Other Meats: 9
Also on the menu is a Colorado lamb rack and a veal rib chop. This place is pretty much beef and seafood only; I don’t really mind so much, but a slab of pork or some chicken would round it out better. I say man up or shut up though. Off the menu, on special, they had something for each course: a spicy crab and lobster salad, the bone-in filet, and grilled asparagus. They also had two types of oysters (east and west coasters). On special for the second trip they also had the bone-in filet again, a dry aged boneless 16oz ribeye, a spicy tuna tartare, and a seafood tower for two. We tried three of those. Mike had the bone-in filet (delicious), I had the spicy tuna tartare (very nice – spicy, cold, wrapped in thinly sliced cucumber, and dressed just right), and the ladies had the seafood tower (though the waiter was helpful in telling us it is cheaper and better to order two seperate towers for one, as you get more food for less money).
Apps, Sides & Desserts: 10
I heard a lot of really great things about the apps at Strip House before going, so I was determined to make room for a serious order. It started to become really difficult to choose. Ultimately we went with the roasted bacon for an app. It was amazing, and a good portion to match the hefty $19 price tag. It came with a nice sized arugula salad, perfectly coated with a homemade thousand island type of dressing, with halved grape tomatoes on the side. Next we had the black truffle creamed spinach, which was rich and creamy but not overpowering. You could definitely taste the truffle in there, and it was served in a cool miniature copper pot. Then the creamed corn with pancetta; it was deliciously topped with a crispy crumble, like mac & cheese. And finally an order of the crispy goose fat potatoes. Yum! They seemed to be baked in a ramekin of some kind, because every side of the upside-down-pie-shaped disc was perfectly crisped to a brown color. The potatoes themselves had a rich goosey flavor, with a heavy dose of rosemary infusion. We were temped to order the ripped potatoes too (baked potato, ripped apart and deep fried with a rosemary salt). For dessert we had baked Alaska; chocolate ice cream with layers of pistachio, topped with brulee’d meringue and sitting in a pool of pistachio cream. One thing to note was that the menu online was different than the one at the restaurant (changes for the better, for the most part). One item missing was the house cured beef jerky, which I would have liked to try. For round two the only new item we tried was the ripped potato for an app. It was really crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, seasoned just right. Delicious. It may have benefitted from a little dish of sour cream on the side though (see a pic under the “portion size” section). For dessert we had the creme brulee (which I thought was more like flan and not as thick as I like it inside). It was okay, but a little too thin for my liking.
Seafood Selection: 10
Strip House has a nice seafood selection. Shrimp, crab cakes, scallops, and a seafood plateau for apps (along with lobster bisque); Yellow fin tuna and red snapper were mentioned on the menu online, but in the restaurant they had crispy skin Scottish salmon, and a sea bass entree. Solid change up. They also had Maine lobster (2- and 3-pounders) for entrees (along with a lobster linguine). They had a good selection of oysters and shellfish too, but the real kicker was the seafood plateau. Holy shit, my friends. Here is what was on the saucer of goodness: tuna tartare on a bed of seaweed salad; grilled calamari salad; lump crab meat ceviche; shrimp cocktail; a half lobster; a generous amount of Alaskan king crab legs; east and west coast oysters; and littleneck clams. It seemed never ending, and totally worth the $49 price tag. It came with an array of amazing sauces; a home made cocktail sauce that was creamy and generous with freshly grated horseradish; a cucumber vinegar bath; and of course the steak sauce (not with the plateau), which really was amazing with the seafood rather than the meat. Let’s put it this way: it makes Luger’s sauce look like bottled ape shit.
The service was fantastic. The waiters (and waitress) all had old fashioned period piece white jacket tuxedos on, and they all knew their shit when it came to meat, their preparations, etc. They were attentive but not annoying, and EVERY SINGLE PERSON WE WALKED PAST said HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to us, just because we mentioned it when making an online reservation. These people are classy. Our meal came with an amuse too – a shot of hot potato soup that was bacony and smoky as heck. Really delicious, though it could have been a bit smoother. The table breads were not only good, but they were REPLENISHED after we finished them (butter was a little hard though). There was an everything style onion roll with fresh charred onions and spices on top, a crispy raisin bun, and a log of salty bagel bread. The second trip was no different as far as service goes; only this time the amuse was a cool gazpacho instead of a warm potato soup. One bonus was that the waiter informed us it was cheaper and better to order two seperate seafood towers for one instead of the special tower for two – thanks buddy! In the lead up to the meal, a BR Guest PR person on Yelp found my reviews of Primehouse and Strip House, and wrote a nice response email to me. We had a conversation and it came out that I was about to eat at Strip House again that evening. She poked around the guest list and discovered that we were celebrating a birthday, so I knew we were in for some extra attention. As it turns out, they sent us a free slice of 24 layer chocolate cake. See below:
Service here never misses the top marks. When I came with a group of five guys, our waitress Asthma really knew her stuff and was incredible. I even noticed that when the sommelier helped us choose between two bottles of wine, he didn’t try to upwell us on one just because it was $5 more. He actually told us he preferred the cheaper bottle better and told us why. I like that.
When you walk in, you feel like you just entered a movie set, or a place ripped right out of the old days. The walls are a deep wall-papered and patterned red. It is cozy and warm, but elegant. The filigree wallpaper even matches the cloth napkins at the table, and framed portraits of old timey nekkit ladies grace the walls, covering nearly every square inch with history. The cushions on the wall seats are a pillowed red; very art deco. The only thing that seemed out of place was the high-school style speckled large-tile floor. The bathroom was nice and fancy, old fashioned too, but a little small.
On my last visit, I had the filet mignon cooked crispy on the outside and rare on the inside. It was perfectly executed to my specifications.
My buddies and I tried the burrata app, which was super soft and flavorful. I could eat this every day and never get sick of it.
As always, the bacon was incredible as well:
UPDATED REVIEW AND PHOTOS as of 12/4/2015
My wife shared an article with me that detailed Chef Michael Vignola’s new 60oz bone-in filet mignon. At a cost of $183, I immediately took to the phones to set one aside for a group of four meat enthusiasts: me, The Cake Dealer, The Dishelin Guide and Matt Bruck.
Chef Vignola passed the torch off to Chef Andreas Seidel for the evening. Really great guy – Andreas and his team treated us like absolute kings! He brought out some really nice scallop crudo with uni and yuzu cream sauce for us to try. Very smooth and bright.
We also ordered the large seafood plateau.
Everything on it was top quality, super fresh and very tasty.
Andreas also brought out some bacon for us to gnaw on. Always a great thing…
Here’s the filet – that massive hunk of delicious, tender meat – prior to the table side slicing.
60oz Filet Mignon Slicing & Serving Video:
Standard issue plating at Strip House is this buttery smooth roasted garlic with a sprig of rosemary. I love this…
Here’s my plate:
There was a ton of flavor on the outside crust, but that meant I had to cut and portion carefully so as not to have a bite of all center with little seasoning. The meat was super tender and absolutely fatless. It was aged, so any fat that may have been in there melted away, leaving behind a dense, meaty and super soft hunk of beef.
On the side we tried the Pommes Dauphine (tater tots with aged gouda and crispy parsley). These were super soft inside, like mashed potatoes, but nice and crisp on the outside. I am now in love with crispy parsley too. It actually had flavor, which is so unlike parsley!
We also ordered creamed corn with pancetta. Great side. Probably the best on the menu here.
The chef also brought out some truffle creamed spinach as well. Very earthy and savory. This went really well when slathered onto the steak with each bite.
Green beans. Simple, but really well executed.
Andreas also sent out some crispy goose fat potatoes – delicious!
The chef also sent out two desserts for us. First was this beautiful Baked Alaska. Watch the service here:
Really nicely done. You could taste the booze but it wasn’t overpowering, and the marshmallow outside was perfectly seared.
There was also more of that massive 24-layer chocolate cake!
Here’s a shot of Team Bald – me and Matt Bruck, with chef Andreas Seidel. Great guy and a great sport!
I was really psyched to hear that Strip House just opened up a new location in midtown. Let me tell you… I had one of the best steak dinners in my life at this place. Not only did Strip House Midtown provide me with one of the best rib eyes I’ve ever sunk my teeth into, but the waiter Scott recognized my “name” on the business card I gave him while we were paying the check. He alerted the general manager, Eric Hammer. Then Eric knew who I was, and he alerted the executive chef Michael Vignola! He helped open several Strip House locations all over the place – we got to meet him, and take a quick tour of the kitchen (which was absolutely beautiful, clean, and state-of-the-art, by the way). Check Michael out, in all his expediting glory:
It turns out that Michael knew who I was too, and they all follow this website! I was totally stoked that I was recognized as a meat man! Anyway… After we settled up the bill, me and my buddy Paul were treated to a private tour of the kitchen. Eric and Michael truly represent the future of meat and steak at Strip House, and in NYC in general. They are young, passionate, extremely skilled, and fucking spot on. Expect a long line of excellence to come from their “loins” in the future. The meat biz is looking spectacular to me right now. These guys have taken the concept of “pinnacle” to a whole other level of greatness. But the best part of this kitchen tour was that we also got to meet the REAL man behind the meat. RAPHAEL SANCHEZ. He is the guy who fired up all the steaks to perfection. Check him out – notice all the tickets dangling – it was fucking JAMMED in this place!!! Great for business!!!:
A second trip proved to be just as awesome and then some. I went with a group of 7. Michael and Eric once again did an amazing job, and this time I got to meet a great operations manager named Bill Varcoe. The personnel here are just incredible. I really can’t speak enough praise about them. They even threw in some freebies for us; a gazpacho amuse, a tuna tartare dish, and several desserts! Huge delicious cheese cake, massive layered chocolate cake, profiteroles, and baked Alaska! Check out the updates in italics below.
I’ve been to the other Strip House downtown several times, and I’ve pretty much tried everything on the menu at this point. With any new place, though, I always have to go back to the standard order for a review: the dry aged bone-in rib eye. It was fucking insane. Nice and savory, juicy as all fuck, and perfectly cooked from end to end. There was not one speck of gristle or fat left on my plate. I ate every glorious bite. Look – I went at it so fast that I only managed to remember to take a pic of it at the last minute, when I had one slice left. Note the perfection of color and the juicy reflection in the flash. My buddy had the filet, ordered medium rare. It, too, was perfectly cooked, though mine packed a hell of a lot more flavor (we both agreed).
I managed to remember to take a picture of my cote de beouff special (for steakhouse month). It was 34oz of glorious rib eye, and I ate every last scrap. I must say though – the standard rib eye had better flavor.
Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 9
The selection here is pretty much exactly the same as the other location, with the exception of a “Kosher Rib Eye” that I noticed was added, so no change in scoring here. And every cut is awesome. You can’t go wrong, regardless of what you choose to eat. Here, you can even be a pussy and order a petite filet and still pass muster in the judgmental eyes of Johnny Prime.
Portion Size & Plating: 10
The sizes are all the same here as the other location. Steaks are filling, sides are large enough for two or more, and apps are generous. Eat up, assholes. Eat until you pop, or poop.
Prices here are the same as downtown, which surprised me because I expected higher rents and overhead at this location to drive up the cost to diners. Strip House is always always always an absolute great buy for the money. This is the best steakhouse business/chain in Manhattan, so fucking go for it.
The bill from my second outing is below. Really fucked up problem here – my buddy who did the math on the tip messed up and we under-tipped at around 15% when we meant to give more like 25%. I vow to make it up to Chris, our waiter, who did a freaking fantastic job at our table. I think we were about $60 short of what we meant to give. Hilarious part about this: we had an accountant at the table.
The bar here is nice. It’s large, and good for hanging after work. Definitely a place I could see myself hanging at. The martini was made perfectly to boot. Belle, the bartender, was great, and it turns out she is a friend of a friend whose wedding I shot as a photographer.
Specials and Other Meats: 9
They had some great steak specials here, and for alternative meats they had veal and lamb. A nice rounded selection of meat for all carnivorous tastes. I was set on the rib eye, so I didn’t pay much attention to what else they had. Fuck that shit. I had my order decided before lunch time.
Apps, Sides & Desserts: 10
The midtown locale has basically the same choices as the downtown restaurant. We tried the clams on the half shell (really nice and crisp, briney, creamy, and mild), the lump crab meat (nice and lumpy, generous size bowl of meat), the slab bacon (fucking MINT), and the pancetta creamed corn (always a favorite). You can’t really go wrong with ANY side here, but I think the creamed corn and bacon might be the best of the best at any place I’ve been in the last 5 years when it comes to apps. Our clams were fucking incredible though. When clams are this good, and clean, I actually prefer them over oysters (BLASPHEMY!). I had some dessert on round two. I must say the portion sizes are tremendous. I only tried the cheese cake of the four items they brought out to us, but it was damn delicious!
Seafood Selection: 10
For seafood you have lobster, sea bass, and salmon. They also serve gigantic U6 shrimp, and have an incredible array of shellfish and cold/raw items on the appetizer menu.
The service is unreal. Our waiter, Scott, was absolutely perfect, and referred to me as “Mr. Prime” a few times after I passed him my card at bill-paying time. HA! He even saw me drop a fork and he quickly swooped in to replace it. I would’ve just wiped the fucker off and used it anyway. At first we were seated at a high table near the bar and entrance area, but I asked for a switch and a guy named Derrek helped us out. I made the reservations over a month ago, so I was a little upset that we had a junky seat. When they switched us, we were still in a tight area – tight like a virgin’s puss… crowded, close quarters, a little bloody, shy, scared, etc. But, we really enjoyed out meal, so I can’t complain too much. The bread was warm (the pretzel bread was delicious), and the butter was soft and spreadable (like a whore’s puss). Very nice way to start out the meal. Another cool thing was that they gave us a freebie amuse between the apps and main courses – a shot of smoked potato soup with parsley oil. It was tasty!
Strip House is a brand; so they have a certain style and image that they keep constant among their restaurants: old timey naked pics of chicks, aka broads, aka birds, aka hoo-uhs. The joint has a speakeasy feel; dim lighting, and lots of deep reds in the color scheme. It’s great. The midtown location delivers on that just as well as the downtown location, but with higher ceilings and a second level. Great bathrooms too; single user jammies, really clean and nice. I’d feel totally comfortable dropping a deuce in those fuckers if I had to.
PS – you might have taken a look at the bill and wondered: where the fuck is the booze? Well… Paul and I put back a bunch of booze beforehand at a workplace cocktail party. It saved us some cash. Notice the addition of quality meat consumed by me before we even got to the restaurant. If I see meat, then I must eat… And yes – that was two different kinds of prosciutto, with a glass of fucking scotch (I had three glasses of scotch before dinner, and about six slices of prosciutto).
Just a quickie here: this is Michael Vignola giving a quick recipe demo on how to cook a filet: